You’ve made it! For me, the bit from the time I enter the
stadium until I cross the finish
line seems to happen in slow
motion. It’s hard to explain quite how I feel.
Initially it is a sense of relief that I don’t have to carry on, that
the focus is over, that my body can rest. Once the medal is
around my neck the pain and tiredness just seem to disappear and I
almost feel energetic as I make my way from the finish
Ahhhh, to relive that moment! I guess that is what has
brought me back year after year.
are a few pointers about the ins and outs of the finish
you pass through the finish
tunnel you will be issued with a finish
card and one of the Comrades
volunteers will place your medal around
your neck. Wear it proudly. Touch it, kiss it, take
a good look at it. The beauty of the Comrades medal lies in
its simplicity and size. It’s a humble medal which I like
think signifies how small we are in the enormity of the Comrades
marathon. It is our proof that we do not have to be mighty to
accomplish such and almighty feat, only that as small as we are, we can
rise to the occasion and come out the victor within ourselves.
the way, I always wear my medal
the following day!
you walk through the finish
area, there will be many official
photographers taking pictures. Make sure you have one taken
of yourself. Better still, if you finished with a friend (or
made a new friend along the way), pose for a picture with
them. You are going to want to show this picture to your
grandchildren one day!
will pass through the runners
refreshment area where you can get
something to eat (usually sandwiches) and something to drink
(tea/coffee or soup). It is a good idea to take something
here, especially if you are unsure of where your club tent or family
are to be found.
your tog bag
your way to tog bag
security. They are pretty jacked up at
the finish. They will need to see your tog bag sticker
you hopefully stuck behind your front race number. Make sure
you get your tog bag
and not someone elses!
and/or permanent shower
facilities are available at the
finish. By the time I finish the water is always cold but for
the most part I just want to wash away the salt and sweat from 10 hours
plus on the road. They usually provide some sort of seating
to put your bag/towel on. Quite handy if you are feeling
buggered and just need to sit down. I have seen some runners
actually sitting on a chair in the shower!
My hubby always
takes a beer with him and relaxes in the showers before
making his way
back to the club tent. Another very useful tip is to bring
along your toothbrush and toothpaste. After a day of coke,
water, energade, squeezies, oranges etc. you will feel a whole lot
better with fresh breath! The CMA usually has security inside
and just outside the shower
facilities which is quite useful given that
you can shower
without having to guard your tog bag at the same
time. In the past I have seen the security helping runners
who have fainted or are throwing up.
Depending on your finish time,
you may give the showers
a miss if you are not feeling too
good. It can also get quite cold at the finish and if you
not feeling up to having a cold shower first it may be a good idea just
to get out of your running kit and get some warm clothes on.
All in all I have always found the down run finish (Durban)
on from the shower,
it is a good idea to dress
warmly. It can
get very cold once the sun goes down. Remember, your body is
not in a good state and does not have much fight left in it.
Make sure you pack in some warm clothing and some comfortable slippers
or shoes for afterwards. My friend Linda always puts on her
PJs and slippers after the race! (I’m going to have to find a pic for
the website!) A beanie is also a good idea to keep your head
warm, especially if you have showered and have wet hair.
is normal to feel lousy (as in nauseous, light headed, tired and sore)
after the race. Just look around you, you will see many other
runners looking a lot like you! The best advice I can give
(it works for me) is this. For nausea, take a sachet of ENO’s
with a little water. One of two things will happen.
Either it will cause you to throw up immediately or it will just stay
in your gut and settle it. Now, having taken the ENO’s, find
yourself a spot where you can lie down (use your towel or anything
similar to lie on). Lie down with your feet elevated - I
usually just use my tog
bag and rest my feet on it. Just try
and relax for at least 10 minutes or so. You will feel a lot
years and years of long distance running I have finally found something
that really works for me. MILK!
I make sure one of
the support crew brings along some ice cold milk. The
of milk is
that it is very bland. After a day of all sorts of
sweet drinks there is nothing quite like milk. It
high in protein which is what your body needs after its long day
out. Needless to say, my hubby Andy drinks beer (he maintains
it is bland enough for him). If you are going to be drinking
beer, make sure you are also drinking water/energy drink as alcohol
assists with dehydration and you don’t want that now! But
hey, it’s what Andy fantasizes about during the tough sections of the
race, he is entitled to live out his fantasy afterwards!
body’s recovery happens a lot quicker if you have food inside
you. A favourite for me (if available) is hot chips (slap
chips). It is easy to chew, the body is still craving salt
and it is a good source of carbohydrate. Our club tent is
pretty organised so there is always sandwiches and soup on
criminals make their way to the finish and prey on tired
runners. Do not leave your tog bag or any other
out of your sight. Make sure you keep your possessions close
to you. Many a runner has had their tog bag stolen at
finish. Be mindful of pick-pockets as well. My
daughter Heather had her cell phone pick-pocketed at the finish last
year. The CMA does employ private security and there is quite
a large SAP presence but these criminals sometimes disguise themselves
as runners which helps them move around the finish undetected.
External links: Official Comrades
you have eaten and are managing to keep your fluids in, you can take
something for the pain. I usually pop a Myprodol or two to
ease the weary body.
need to wee
within 2 hours of the run. This way you know that
your kidneys are functioning ok. Kidney failure is VERY
SERIOUS so please take care and be aware of how they are functioning
after the run. If you have not been able to wee by the next
morning you need to make your way to a doctor soonest. You
could be in big trouble!
are just some of the things that come to mind. Most of all,
enjoy that wonderful feeling. Phone a friend! Call
your mum! And yes, it is OK to be emotional.
words: finish, comrades marathon,
medal, refreshments, togbags, photos,
dress warmly, rehydrate
links: tog bag security, squeezies,